Local Authority News
Highland Council's South Planning Applications Committee has approved a major planning application for an alloy wheel manufacturing facility at Fort William in Lochaber. The facility involves an investment in excess of £130 million which will sustain and create around 570 jobs; expand business opportunities and provide a value added product for the UK motor vehicle manufacturing industry which could reduce reliance on overseas supply chains.
Several roads in the centre of Inverness will be temporarily closed to traffic on the morning of Saturday 10 February as the city gears up to host the opening ceremony of the 2018 Snowman Rally. Drivers are being advised that from between 7.30am and 12 noon the following roads will be closed to all vehicles: Eastgate closed at its junction with Crown Road to its con-junction with the High Street; The High Street closed at its con-junction with Eastgate to its junction with Castle Street; Hamilton Street closed at its junction with Academy Street to its junction with Eastgate.
The Highland Council is to seek the views of local communities on a proposal to establish a Gaelic Medium catchment area for Bun-sgoil Ghàidhlig Loch Abar. The change is being proposed in line with Statutory Guidance on Gaelic Medium Education.
Highland housing tenants are to receive a small 0.5% increase in council house rents for the coming financial year 2018/19 which equates to an average weekly rise of 36p. Members of Highland Council's People Committee have approved the 0.5% rent increase which would result in an increase in the average weekly council house rent from £72.88 to £73.24 (£0.36p).
Highland Council has listened to its customers and agreed a below-inflation rise in garage and garage sites rents. The results of a Highland Council consultation on housing, garage and garage sites rents has directed the decision making of Highland Councillors today (Thursday 25 January 2018) at the Council's People Committee.
As part of The Highland Council's Redesign Programme, Members of the Council's People Committee today considered a report on the "Review of Music Tuition Services". They have agreed that High Life Highland will deliver Music Tuition services from April 2018.
Due to current pressures on school rolls and following an analysis of school roll forecasts, The Highland Council is ‘capping' or limiting school rolls and reserving places in some Primary Schools in Inverness for the 2018/19 academic session (beginning August 2018). The schools affected are Kinmylies Primary, Duncan Forbes Primary, Smithton Primary, Hilton Primary, Holm Primary, Lochardil Primary and Milton of Leys Primary.
Nominations are being invited from people seeking election onto eight community councils across the Highlands. The resignation of some members have brought the following six community council's down to below half of their memberships so interim elections have been called in order to fill the vacancies.
The Highland Council and its Commercial and Procurement Shared Services partners Aberdeen City and Aberdeenshire Councils are running a series of events to help businesses supply to the public sector. Some of the events are hosted by other organisations and we will be signposting suppliers to these as well.
Leader of the Highland Council, Margaret Davidson has moved to reassure communities about forthcoming budget decisions. She said: "No decisions will be made until the Council meets on 15 February.
At Highland Council work has been ongoing for some months to prepare a Revenue and Capital Budget for 2018/19 and beyond, with the anticipation of a significant cut to available funds. The Scottish Government's proposed grant settlement was announced on 14 December 2017.
Around £3 million of funding has been agreed for a ground-breaking Highland project that could transform the lives of people with complex health needs as part of the Inverness and Highland City Region Deal. The business case for the ‘FitHome' assisted living project was approved in November last year with £3m funding from the Scottish Government.
An article in the Press and Journal today 9th January 2018 highlights the cuts in staffing levels across Scottish councils with Highland being one of the highest. In 2009 Highland had 9953 Full-time Equivalent Staff and in 2017 it had dropped by 21% to 7838.
Highland Council Trading Standards team has recently seen an increase in scams targeting Highland businesses. The most common scams reported by businesses relate to marketing and publishing but other frauds such as those involving demands for payment for unsolicited goods sent to businesses (such as ink cartridges which were never ordered) are also on the rise.
Cognitive improvements to be included in Blue Badge scheme The disabled person's parking badge pilot, which was launched in April 2016, has been made permanent by the Scottish Government. The eligibility criteria were revised and extended under a pilot to allow carers and relatives of people who pose a risk to themselves or others in traffic to apply for a disabled person's parking badge, provided they meet the criteria.
People looking to pick up a New Year bargain in the sales on the internet, by mail order or on the high street are being encouraged by The Highland Council's Trading Standards team to be aware of their consumer rights and to stay safe online from scams and fake websites that try to dupe inexperienced online shoppers trying to buy a bargain. Consumers have extra protection when they shop online.
The British Hospitality Association secured a major victory today (21 December2017) as the Scottish Government confirmed that any plans for a ‘tourist tax' in Edinburgh - or any other Scottish cities - are firmly off the table. The BHA has been campaigning consistently for over six years against the implementation of any such additional and uncompetitive tax and is delighted that the Scottish Government has recognised our reservations.
Chief Executive of The Highland Council, Steve Barron said: "The Council is continuing to do all it can to support employees who lost their jobs following the change in contract for the processing of recycled waste. Evanton-based William Munro Construction laid off the staff after Highland Council transferred a recycling contract.
The Highland Council has successfully prosecuted a food business after discovering unsafe hygiene practices in the transportation of food. An investigation by officers of the Council's Environmental Health Team discovered that N E Meats Ltd of Newcastle had been transporting and delivering foods from the North of England to the Highlands without any temperature control measures.
Maps of the Council's gritting routes by priority and policy are available online at www.highland.gov.uk/gritting The information provided is a summary of reports from operational staff and is intended to give a general indication of typical conditions in each area at a point in time. It is not intended to imply that any individual route is entirely snow and ice free and drivers must be aware that conditions can change rapidly and make their own assessment of conditions for travelling.